It's Time For America's Return to "Radical" Socialist Policies

It's been just over a month since the Wall Street Journal ran its misinformation hit piece claiming that Bernie Sanders' budget proposal would cost 18 trillion dollars, and the Journal is back at it again.

This time it's Jason Riley who's criticizing Bernie's budget plan as being unrealistic and expensive, not to mention socialist.

In his opinion piece titled "Bernie Sanders and the Soak-the-Rich Myth", Riley writes "Bernie Sanders has been asserting […] that pretty much every domestic problem, from aging infrastructure to student debt to teenage acne, could be solved by raising taxes high enough on the super rich."

Riley goes on to construct the rest of his, very flawed, argument based on this exchange between Senator Sanders and George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

Bernie went on to explain that guaranteeing paid family and medical leave would require a small increase in the payroll tax across the board.

And Riley is quick to write that that would mean a tax increase that would "hit" everyone.

But he completely ignores the fact that guaranteed paid sick and family leave would actually save many American workers money because they wouldn't be forfeiting wages whenever they take time off.

Riley goes on to broaden the scope of his piece, he criticizes Hillary for claiming that she would "make the wealthy pay", and then he writes: "the irony is that liberals who want the federal government to secure more revenue for redistribution ought to favor a tax code that's less progressive. Time and again, history has shown that the rich pay more when the marginal rate is reduced."

The rest of his piece weaves a web of historical dreams, one where President Kennedy supported trickle-down economics and one where economic growth has anything to do with the top marginal tax rates.

He pre-empts any criticism of his history by writing, "The reason liberals find this history unpersuasive is because their soak-the-rich-rhetoric is more about politics than economics."

He goes on to accuse liberals of being too concerned with inequality and not concerned enough about growth.

And he's wrong. On pretty much every count.

The truth is that liberals, and anyone familiar with our country's economic history, find Riley's version of history unpersuasive because it's a complete distortion of reality.

It's well documented that the economy does best when the middle class does best.

In other words, the economy does well when economic inequality is low.

Beyond that, according to a 2012 report from the Congressional Research Service, "Analysis […] suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution."

That research looked at the last 65 years of tax rates compared GDP, and the researchers found that lowering taxes on the rich doesn't cause the economic pie to get bigger.

It just means that the richest in the country get a bigger slice of the economic pie.

Because that's what Reaganomics does, it concentrates the wealth at the top.

If Riley were really concerned about growth, he'd be supporting Sanders' plan to invest in American infrastructure and American jobs.

And if the Wall Street Journal were truly concerned about a healthy economy and stimulating private consumption, they'd support very high marginal tax rates for the top 1% of earners.

According to research published earlier this year, the highest marginal tax rate paid exclusively by the super-rich should be 90%, where it was just after World War Two under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower and Democrat John Kennedy.

And guess what? the economy grew under Eisenhower because he maintained high taxes on the rich and on corporations, and then he used that revenue to invest in massive infrastructure projects, expand social services, and invest in America's middle class.

It's time that the Wall Street Journal stop trying to make Bernie Sanders and other progressives seem radical for proposing that we tax the wealthy and close corporate tax loopholes; that we provide tuition-free college and paid sick leave; that we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; and that we provide healthcare for all.

These aren't radical proposals.

They're proposals that both Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly agree on, and that every other developed country in the world has already implemented.

For 35 years, Reaganomics and tax cuts for the rich have only benefited the rich, at the expense of the middle class and the country as a whole.

Notwithstanding the Wall Street Journal's deceptively promoting Reagan's failed experiment in "trickle-down" economics, Americans overwhelmingly want our nation to return to the "radical socialist" policies pioneered by Dwight D. Eisenhower and make our middle class great again.


happyashell's picture
happyashell 7 years 32 weeks ago

The income tax deductions and tax rates have a profound affect on how money is invested in our economy. The lower tax rate for long term capital gains encourages people to invest in different types of assets. Problems arise when asset and commodity prices rise more than 2% a year. Bubbles and financial crisis begin to occur. There currently is no effective way to prevent bubbles and financial crisis from occurring. Until now! Read "Proposed Solution for Modern Economies That Create Bubbles and Financial Crisis".

w1ders's picture
w1ders 7 years 32 weeks ago

We all know who owns the wall street journal. Enough said.

lisamerrill's picture
lisamerrill 7 years 32 weeks ago

Income tax deductions, capital gains assets investments, commodity prices - yes, yes and yes. But if working people feel secure in their bacon-bringing-home abilities, they will fritter away legal tender. American (over)confidence tends to make an economy grow exceedingly strong.

a 99% Bernie supporter/volunteer

Kend's picture
Kend 7 years 32 weeks ago

So going in debt a trillion dollars a year isn't enough. I am curious how much will it take.

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 32 weeks ago

What the Wall St Journal doesn't want to talk about is the greatest case of welfare ever, allowing our private banks to create our money supply out of thin air. They aren't even taxed on that gift. 10's of $trillions created by an outright gift of the state, when the gov't could create that money itself at zero cost and wouldn't have to borrow anything. And even more important could inject that money into the economy where it actually creates domestic jobs, builds infrastructure, fuels demand for domestic goods & services, rather than just fueling speculation and asset bubbles, profiting only rich parasites - rent seekers who produce nothing.

Best documentary on the Wall St. Journal's fave crony-capitalist economic & monetary system:

97% owned - Economic Truth Documentary:

Iceland does what the US won’t: 26 top bankers sent to prison for role in financial crisis, total 74 years in Prison, In America the criminal Banksters are rewarded with $16T in bailouts and 10's of $billions in bonuses, In America, land of the free, The Felons who were declared Too Big To Jail by the Bankster criminals in the US gov't, like Eric Holder (back to work for his Bankster buddies), now they are even Bigger:

How Iceland defeated the Anglo-American Bankster Mafia:

Still Report #374 -- Iceland Public Created Money Supply vs Criminal Private Banks "Counterfeiting" money:

“Fundamental reform of the monetary system must be considered.” Says head of Iceland Parliament’s Committee for Economic Affairs:

Last week, a resolution calling for the establishment of a special commission to “carry out a review of the arrangements of money creation in Iceland and to make recommendations for improvements”:

Iceland President: Let Banks Go Bankrupt:

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 32 weeks ago

Hundreds of Wall Street Execs Went to Prison During the Last Fraud-Fueled Bank Savings & Loans Crisis, No More - The Private Banksters now Own Our Government:

William Black:

"...To date, a few loan officers — small fish — have been convicted of various offenses related to the financial crash. But none of the big bankers have faced any charges. And it’s not that the government has been losing cases in the courts. There’s simply been no concerted effort to prosecute these guys. Can you contrast that with what happened during the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, and also give us your sense of why this has been the case?

William Black: Sure. The savings and loan debacle was one-seventieth the size of the current crisis, both in terms of losses and the amount of fraud. In that crisis, the savings and loan regulators made over 30,000 criminal referrals, and this produced over 1,000 felony convictions in cases designated as “major” by the Department of Justice. But even that understates the degree of prioritization, because we, the regulators, worked very closely with the FBI and the Justice Department to create a list of the top 100 — the 100 worst fraud schemes. They involved roughly 300 savings and loans and 600 individuals, and virtually all of those people were prosecuted. We had a 90 percent conviction rate, which is the greatest success against elite white-collar crime (in terms of prosecution) in history.

In the current crisis, that same agency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, which was supposed to regulate, among others, Countrywide, Washington Mutual and IndyMac — which collectively made hundreds of thousands of fraudulent mortgage loans — made zero criminal referrals. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is supposed to regulate the largest national banks, made zero criminal referrals. The Federal Reserve appears to have made zero criminal referrals; it made three about discrimination. And the FDIC was smart enough to refuse to answer the question, but nobody thinks they made any material number of criminal referrals [either]...."

Instant-RunOff-... 7 years 32 weeks ago

Whistleblowers are DOJ’s Only Means to Prosecute

“…The Obama administration’s failure to reestablish and effective criminal referral process and to appoint regulatory and prosecutorial leaders who will make the prosecution of elite bank fraudsters a top priority leaves DOJ with only one avenue of successful prosecutions of those elite banksters – whistleblowers. (Again, Holder would far rather fail than accept the repeated offers of help of those of us with a track record of success.) This makes Bowen a vastly more important asset to the DOJ and the SEC today than he would have been during the S&L debacle. He and few whistleblower peers are the DOJ’s and the SEC’s only “ace in the hole.” Holder, however, constantly folds rather than playing his sole ace in a criminal prosecution of the elite banksters. Of course, the pretense that Holder or Obama actually want to bring successful prosecutions against the elite banksters doesn’t fool anyone at this juncture.

Given the death of criminal referrals by the regulatory agencies, if Holder were serious about enforcing the rule of law against the elite bankers who led the three fraud epidemics he would make every effort to recruit whistleblower like Bowen. He would constantly be asking for them to come forward and vigorously seek leads on potential whistleblowers that the FBI could personally approach and ask for their help.

Virtually every major DOJ case against the largest banks was made possible by whistleblowers, including the cases against Citi, JPM, Bank of America, HSBC, Credit Suisse, and Standard Chartered. DOJ refuses to prosecute the elite bankers who led the three fraud epidemics even when it brings actions made possible by the whistleblowers’ revelations. Holder loves to attend the press conferences announcing these settlements and non-prosecutions (oxymoronically referred to as “deferred” prosecutions). The press conferences provide the ideal opportunity for Holder to praise the whistleblowers, ask for new whistleblowers to step forward, promise the whistleblowers that their information, if credible, will lead to prosecutions of the elite banksters, and explain how whistleblowers should contact DOJ. Holder and his subordinates have done this in zero cases. They fail even to mention the whistleblowers. Again, if Holder actually wanted to prosecute the banksters we know he would never act in the manner he consistently does when it comes to whistleblowers….”

Roland de Brabant's picture
Roland de Brabant 7 years 32 weeks ago


How much will it take? Oh, maybe the price of an F-35 or two. Your concerns were tired 700 years ago; enough of the aristocracy.


sheilach2's picture
sheilach2 7 years 32 weeks ago

Thom, you keep claiming to be a "progressive" but as long as you keep trying to shove Hillery down our unwilling throats, your NOT a "progressive" & I will NOT "vote " for Hillery no matter how much shoving you do for her.
She is a wall street darling, a corporate pupped & another dam war monger, I have had more than my fill of such FILTH.
Stop calling yourself a "progressive" because your NOT, your just another DAM "repuglicon" as long as you keep supporting that lying war hawk, corporate puppet, wall street wonk, Hillery!

I support Sen.Bernie Sanders & if he doesn't "win" the nomination, I will vote for the Green candidate, Dr. Jill Stine again.
I think it's a waste of time to "vote" anyhow, our "votes" aren't counted, our "votes" don't matter, only how much WEALTH you have to BUY THE VOTE, I only bother to "vote" as a means to protest againts the "two" so called parties.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 32 weeks ago

The question must be asked, "What is the purpose for an economy? Is it to make life good for all or just for a small minority at the expense of all the others?". For conservatives the latter is their definite answer and the smaller the minority the better for their purposes so as to have to share the wealth with as few as possible.
Those not of the select, privileged minority are that minority's cattle or beasts of burden. Everything else from them is just a working backwards from that. Once you know that you understand what's going on.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 32 weeks ago

Damn typos!
A few more things, JFK did, in fact, try to stimulate the economy with tax cuts - but I doubt he would today or certainly not to the extent of contemporary Republican policies. A Grover Nordquist he wasn't.
I wouldn't call welfare statism socialism. It's more a compromise between socialism and capitalism, a result of democratic socialism, or, that is, the result of the efforts of democratic socialists who, being small "d" democrats first and socialists second, are, unlike Leninists, willing to share a society with those who disagree with them and accept the results of elections not in their favor and act then as a LOYAL opposition (Leninists, on the other hand, are not democrats but a revolutionary vanguard whose ends, they feel, justify their any means and only participate in electoral politics of a "bourgeois democracy", or, a democracy that glosses over or ignores the differences in political power between the upper and lower classes or between the rich and poor, in order to subvert the system. They only pretend to be genuine democrats but participating in elections, which they consider sham anyway, they are only awaiting opportunity for subversion.) Thus democratic socialists, unlike Leninists, compromise with capitalists and a result is the welfare state.
Genuine socialism, however, is not the welfare state but the workers' state where workers, not exploiting business people, have the power and are in charge - although in New Deal administrations and Congresses (and Eisenhower's policies were derisively called by Barry Goldwater and the hard line Republicans "dime store New Deal" or, what we might call "Democrat light" or "RINO") workers had more power.
Kend, I think you need to find other work, you're not really good as a shill.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 32 weeks ago
Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 7 years 31 weeks ago

Conservatives hate government only if it's democratic and accountable to the people. They absurdly and outrageously try to characterize democratic government as tyranny.
Their ideal society is the police state of China where they moved all their factories after Mexico didn't work out because the workers and public there got organized and got some collective bargaining agreements and environmental regulations passed and defeated the purpose for moving there in the first place. They thought the workers and people in China couldn't organize because China was a police state.
All politics in the United States is victimology and conservatives play the victim card most absurdly and outrageously characterizing the rich and powerful, the very dominators of society, as the victims of society because they have to pay taxes, obey regulations that protect the environment or the health and safety of others of the community or because they have to give a fair share of their profits to their employees. For them democracy is tyranny.

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